Review: Fernandez & Leluu

Continued from this post: My visit to Saltoun Supper Club in London

My trip to London in February had me visiting my first couple of supper clubs ever (yes I’ve been running a supper club since November without having been to any myself). The first, was Saltoun Supper Club, where I had a lovely meal cooked by Chef Arno Maasdorp who’s been running his joint for a couple of years now. The very next day, had me visiting Fernandez & Leluu – a supper club run by the lovely Uyen Luu…..this night, however, I was completely on my own. I couldn’t get a booking for more than one seat, so I decided to test my theory that one is totally not weird for braving a supper club on their own.

As usual, I was the first one there. Why is this always the case? So I took pictures.

Seats for 26
Very soon people began to arrive, and I was seated at a table of 8 — 7 strangers I would be spending the evening eating with. Everyone was in pairs of twos, and there was even another woman who’d come on her own – so the evening began with plenty introductions and where are you froms: at our table there were Germans, English, a Dominican Republican, and me, representin’ bangla power. We exchanged stories of past supper clubbing experiences (mine having been the day before!) and I very cheekily told my dinner mates about Khana Commune (Sorry Leluu!). Once the food was served (a long procession of dishes), conversation quickly turned to this:

(I am not describing the dishes, as to be honest, there were no menus! Nobody at the table had seen a menu, as far as I could tell, so every dish was a surprise)

frogs legs!

beef wrapped in betel leaves

Snuck up to the kitchen to see Uyen in action —here she is preparing dessert for 26 people.

cake for dessert

The evening was boisterous. After our million-course meal, one of the other groups brought out a pub quiz they’d prepared, and they involved everyone in the room. The room was rife with laughter, conversation, hooting and tooting from the pop quiz — and I came away super impressed by Leluu’s ability to host 26 people in her home at one time.

Quite a contrast to the night before, at Saltoun’s, where the evening proceeded at a much relaxed pace, there was a certain serenity about Arno and his home, most of the guests kept to themselves and their friends, food was served with breaks of 20 mins in between courses…. whereas at Leluu’s it was just mad crazy 7-8 courses served at rapid pace, and a larger sense of communal dining. I met so many new people, (and I hope some of them make it down to Khana Commune some day!) — I loved it. I loved how different my two hosts were, yet equally entertaining and impressive. Both left me completely stuffed, satisfied yet wanting more.

Most importantly, I left London so much more confident and pleased about what I am doing with Khana Commune. If I enjoyed the supperclub experience this much, sitting and eating in someone else’s home….then I can believe at least most of the lovely strangers who enter my home on a fortnightly basis leave with a smile on their faces.

Our table: my 7 new friends

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